Now about halfway through the summer, the Hill County Superintendent’s office hopes the Havre Public Schools District will make some busing changes before school starts up next month.
Hill County Superintendent Diane McLean came to Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting, disappointed after expecting to be on the agenda, and said during the public comment portion of the meeting that she and local parents would like the board to approve the Cottonwood School District’s request to pick up students in the Havre district.
Among the information she provided are enrollment figures for Cottonwood, in northern Hill County, over the past five years.
In the 2006-2007 school year, a total of 16 students were enrolled at Cottonwood. Six of those didn’t live in their district.
In the last year, 2011-2012, 28 students were enrolled and 22 of those were out of their district.
Out of district students first became a majority in 2008 when 10 of 19 students attending Cottonwood did not live in the Cottonwood district.
McLean also mentioned all of the busing agreements that Havre has with neighboring school districts and the agreements between other Hill County districts.
Havre has agreements with North Star schools that allows buses to come into the Havre district, west of Havre, to pick up students that was approved earlier this year.
There is also an agreement with the Rocky Boy Public Schools to allow a bus to get as close as Laredo to pick up students that was approved in September.
There are several agreements among school districts in Box Elder, Big Sandy, Rudyard and Rocky Boy.
McLean wanted to know why Havre had not approved an agreement with Cottonwood, especially after her office had considered and approved several other busing changes that Havre had filed.
This morning HPS Superintendent Andy Carlson explained that the board has not approved an agreement with Cottonwood because Cottonwood has never filed a request for one.
“Cottonwood has never brought a request since I’ve been superintendent, ” Carlson said.
Instead he said Cottonwood has already been busing students out of the Havre district for the past four years without permission, possibly in violation of state law.
While having no comment now, he said he would not have thoughts or recommendations for such an agreement until he saw a request on his desk.
As McLean was not on the agenda and had to speak during the public comment portion of the meeting, the board could not take any action on the issue, though they offered assurance that it would be placed on the agenda of their next meeting, Aug. 14 at noon in the Havre Middle School Auditorium.